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How will you be keeping your dog cool this summer?


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For crates ( I prefer the airline type as IMO they are cooler due to shade) you can recycle 2 liter bottles by filling with water and freezing them, placing them into the crate with the dog. If the dog eats bottles we have used pegboard on the floor with loose ice below it to keep dogs cool. If in the city I suspect the dog is inside much of the day. Then early morning walks, trips to the dog park, plenty of water with you. Carry water with you. If the pavement is very hot, think dog boots, good ones, not the cheapies. Use common sense. if you tie your dog outside while you go into a store for a few minutes, look for a shady place to leave him. Don't run a marathon during the heat of the day with your dog. Swimming can be a good exercise (but watch for trash in the water which could present a bigger problem).

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My dog will be in an outside kennel during the day (while we're at work) on a slab of concrete in a 3-sided, shady, shed. He'll have a kiddy pool with cool water for lounging/playing in, a huge bucket of cold water, and, I suppose if needed, a fan, although I don't think he'll need it. I would keep him in the house, but it would get WAY too hot, and I don't have AC. :/

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  • 3 weeks later...

So since so many of you lived very different lifestyles than us in the cities, I figured I'd just go ahead and buy him a cooling vest. It's suddenly dipped into the cold again, so we haven't had a chance to use it yet. Saturday is supposed to be the next warm day, so I'll update on how it works then.

 

 

He looks unhappy about it, but it's supposed to keep him cool so he's going to wear it anyway.ZvwFugQ.jpg

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How do you know when it's too hot?

 

I took the dogs out this afternoon for a leashed walk around a park and through a town and the older dog was hanging back, just walking that bit slower, and panting at intervals. Generally walking her is an exercise in her trying to sproing and strain and bounce about as much as possible (while not putting enough tension on the leash to get her in trouble). So I cut the walk short, got her into the nearest air-conditioned building that allowed dogs, and made her lie in the shade drinking water and eating apples. I'm sure she was actually fine, just pooped from running a lot, but I wasn't sure enough to risk it.

 

Do you go by signs? Temperatures?

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When they start panting rapidly with a wide open throat, it is time to get them cooled off. If they lose coordination, they should have already been cooled off.

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I don't remember who told me this, but somewhere along the way, I was advised to check their ears to see how they were feeling-- warm was normal, slightly cool was getting chilly, and hot/freezing were too hot and too cold. I'm not sure if it holds any truth at all though.

 

But I do know that all dogs have a different threshold for tolerance, as Caleb can barely tolerate the heat but is totally okay with -40 weather. When he gets too hot, he'll want to lie down more often (closer to the ground), pant much wider than usual, and drool quite a bit more, as well as having a slightly glassy-eyed look. I also check his underside (paws, belly, armpit) often when we're out and if it feels too hot for my liking, we take a time out.

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I'm starting to worry about this a little. We haven't had a day out of the 70s yet - and only one that was above the low 70s, but Molly is REALLY apparently overheating even in these temps, and after all of about 20 minutes of moderate exercise. I think I might actually take her to the vet :/ Just in case.

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RemsMom, I believe Musher's Secret helps with hot surfaces as well as ice. I'm not 100% on that, but I'm pretty sure I've skimmed it somewhere. A thing of it is like 17 bucks, but it's supposed to last a while. Plus, if you get it now, you'll already be ready for ice and snow in winter!

 

We just spend a lot of time at the river in the summer. Lots and lots of swimming. I also try to do our walks and hikes early in the morning when the sun's not as hot. For the most part, though, my area doesn't get TOO hot, although I suspect this summer will be horrible due to our lack of snow this year (super weird winter). Because of the relatively temperate temps, I just use common sense: avoid the hottest part of the day, lots of hydrating, keep an eye out for over-heating, shave the belly, etc.

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Gideon's girl- I read your post and panicked, because the lab's stumbling around the garden. Then I remembered it's cool inside, she's been inside for a while, and she always stumbles or crashes about the place when she's hyper, or starts walking in strange and exaggerated ways so she can scratch her hocks on the gravel.

 

It genuinely worries me in case she someday develops a neurological illness and I can't see it, or gets heatstroke and I don't notice it's that serious. It's the lab 'high pain tolerance, crashing into things is good, paying attention to what we do is unnecessary' thing I think?

 

Rem'sMom- piggyback! Saw an older gentleman piggyback his large dog (at least 50lb) down the road before. It was flooding and the dog was nervous of the water. You can do your weightlifting for the day, the dog gets to be tall, all good!

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I've had my clumsy goof scare the pants off me before, too, but it's a different kind of clumsy when they are overheating. It would be harder to notice in a dog with high threshold, because one of the things you see is that they don't notice they are stumbling, which is exactly what you probably see in your lab. You'll just have to make sure you see any signs of overheating before it gets that far.

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Brady's Mom-Thank you for the suggestion. I will look that up online.

 

Simba- I have come across photos of soldiers with their dogs piggyback but I'm not so sure it would work so well with Nattie, she wiggles!

 

We keep cool by going out in the evenings on our back patio that is shaded in the afternoon. We have misters to keep the humans and my GSD cool and a wading pool for Nattie. I have a swamp cooler in the garage and sometimes I will park the cars in the driveway so we can do some training. I think this will be the summer when I will have to get up early and get Nattie outside. I don't know if that will work in the hottest part of the summer. I remember one day last year when it was 100 at 11:00pm and 100 again at 7:00am.

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